When does God smile?

by Penrod

Was God smiling when he blessed Abraham (Genesis 22:15-18)? How could God not have been? He knew it would make Abraham happy.

Did God smile when Jesus was born? At Mary when the angel Gabriel appeared to her? Did God smile at the amazement and wonder of the shepherds when the angels sang to them? Did she smile at how the wise men felt when they found Jesus? Did he smile as the little children in pageants this past Christmas came in innocent spirits and loving, gentle attitudes to the manger to welcome baby Jesus? How could she not smile even though a few tears surely came, too—tears of joy mostly.

I forget that God lives for love and delight, that God is love and delight, that love and delight are divine, and that God’s spirit is the spirit of love and delight. I struggle for faith. I forget what God is like. I become cynical, filled with doubt, and overwhelmed by how awful it is for so many in the world. Where would I be, what would happen to me if God did not break through with those smiles whose blessings convince me that God smiles every chance he gets?

Penrod says that, in thinking about him, one should think first of Booth Tarkington's Penrod, the boy writer, and then of the mighty pen of Martin Luther with its power like unto the rod of Aaron.

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